About the service
The older people’s mental health team provides a specialist community mental health service to people who are struggling with mental health difficulties in later life. The team has community mental health nurses, occupational therapists, psychologists, support workers and medics.
The team offers assessment of mental health problems in later life which usually include psychological, social, and physical components. The team will assess an individual’s needs and build an individualised care plan suited to their current needs. These interventions may include psychosocial interventions to help with the management of anxiety and depression, advice and monitoring around mental health issues, specific therapies for management of later life mental health difficulties, and outpatient reviews. The team works closely with external partners and community resources and may signpost individuals to external and third sector organisations as appropriate.
If you are referred to mental health services from your GP you will initially be seen by a member of staff from the Single Point of Access Team. They will assess your needs and refer you to the Barnsley older people’s mental health team if this is found to be appropriate. Once we’ve received the referral you will be allocated a mental health worker who will work out a plan of care with you to meet your individual needs.
Why would someone choose the service?
Many people approach and deal with ageing as a natural progression in their lives, for others it is accompanied by negative thoughts and feelings.
The community mental health team for older adults recognises that difficulties faced by older people are different from any other group in society. Our staff have all chosen to work in this area and have undertaken training to help us understand the difficulties you may be experiencing.
Our team will assess your mental health needs, looking at all aspects of your life so that we can work together to design the best treatment plan for you.
The types of treatment we offer include; managing depression and anxiety, managing the effects of bereavement, helping people adapt to different ways of coping and getting back into the community. For those who have long-term mental health conditions such as schizophrenia and bipolar affective disorder, we offer education about the illness, ways of coping and managing symptoms and how the ageing process affects the illness as well as drug therapy. We also offer advice and support to family and carers.
Whatever your diagnosis, our staff will help you work at your own pace and always respect your wishes.
We have received a range of service user feedback from evaluation questionnaires which include comments such as:
- “The support and treatment I have received was excellent”
- “I am highly satisfied”
- “ I am in a much better place than I was at the beginning of my treatment”
Staff you may meet
- Administrative staff provide essential support to doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals. This can be in a variety of different settings, with administrators working as a receptionist in a clinic or a clerk on a ward. They may also be working closely with a consultant as a medical secretary.
- There are more than 60 different specialities that doctors work within the NHS. Each is unique but there are many characteristics which are common. Roles range from working in a hospital to being based in the community as a GP.
- Domestic staff have a vital role in helping to care for patients. They work in one of three key areas; catering, cleaning or laundry services. All of these services play an important part in aiding an individual’s recovery.
- There are many people who work behind the scenes to keep services running and you may meet them in hospital or community settings. They include porters, cleaners, plumbers, electricians, decorators receptionists and secretaries who all work to make sure healthcare settings are kept clean, tidy and safe.
- Nurses who choose to specialise in the mental health branch of nursing work with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others, to help care for patients. Increasingly, care is given in the community, with mental health nurses visiting patients and their families at home, in residential centres, in prisons or in specialist clinics or units.
- Nursing or healthcare assistants work in hospital or community settings under the guidance of a qualified healthcare professional. They help doctors, nurses and therapists give people the care and treatment they need.
- Occupational therapy is the assessment and treatment of physical and psychiatric conditions using specific, purposeful activity to prevent disability and promote independent function in all aspects of daily life.
- The NHS employs a wide range of clinical staff, it wouldn’t be possible to list them all on this website! All our clinical staff are skilled, dedicated professionals who adhere to high standards of training and work-place practice.
- Physiotherapists help people to improve their range of movement in order to promote health and well being. This can help people to live more independently.
- Adult psychotherapists work with people to assess and treat a range of emotional, social or mental health issues. They help people tackle problems such as behavioural issues, common challenges such as anxiety and depression or more complex or severe issues, such as psychosis or a personality disorder diagnosis.
- Social workers help, support and protect people who are facing difficulties in their lives. They help people to take positive steps to overcome problems and improve their lives. This could involve assessing and reviewing a service user’s situation, building relationships with service users and their families and agreeing what practical support someone needs.
Why a professional should choose the service
- We are a specialist team for the ageing population made up of mental health care professionals who understand the unique effects and implications of retirement and the ageing process. We are able to use this understanding to tailor the service to ensure that it meets the specific needs of this client group.
- The team works mainly with older people who are experiencing a range of mental health problems compounded by inter-related physical, emotional and social conditions, will work with adults whose needs are more related to our service.
- All non-urgent referrals for assessment are seen within 14 calendar days, which meets the regional CQUIN indicator 2.
- All service users under a care programme approach are offered a physical wellbeing assessment.
- Internal mini record keeping audits, designed to maintain a high standard of record keeping are carried out every three months with all clinical staff – as set out in the essence of care benchmark for care planning.
- Falls assessments for all community mental health teams are carried out by our team members due to the specialist knowledge and skills within our service.
- All mandatory training requirements have been met.
- Service meets requirements for 7 day follow up which ensures contact, where possible face to face, with a service user within 7 days of their discharge from a mental health hospital.
- Our patient surveys indicate that service users feel that they have been treated with dignity and respect.
- Assessment of mental health
- Psychological interventions
- Risk management
- Anxiety management
- Medication management
- Psycho-social intervention
- Liaison with other services
- Psychiatric medical review
- Outpatients appointments
- Regular reviews
- Environmental assessment
- Capacity assessments
- Social skills
- Recreational activity
- Recovery work
- Light therapy treatment is offered for those service users who experience seasonal affective disorder
- Hearing device are also offered to improve communication with service users who are hard of hearing
This service aims to ensure that:
- Every service user works towards their own goals
- Service users recognise the life skills they have and can use these to enhance their recovery
- Service users develop self-management skills
- Each service user has a positive experience of mental health services
- Service users understand their diagnosis so that they are equipped to recognise signs of relapse
- Service users understand how their physical health impacts on their mental health
Referrals accepted from:
A & E, AHPs, Carers/family, CMHTs, Consultants, Courts, Drug/alcohol agencies, GP staff, GPs, Health visitors, Hospital staff, Housing associations, Local authority staff, Midwives, Other NHS services, Other Trust services, Patients(self-referral), Police, Schools, Voluntary services
The Single Point of Access (SPA) team accepts all external referrals to the service and can be accessed via general practitioners. SPA is an integrated team (with an older adult specialist nurse undertaking majority of older adult referrals) within the core pathway and will undertake screening, triage and initial assessments. Appointments will be prioritised on need and initial contact can range between the same day and up to 14 days after the receipt of the referral. Urgent referrals will be triaged and assessed within 72 hours. Following initial assessment the service user will be either:
- Transferred to IHBTT for a crisis (within4 hours) assessment
- Treated within the ageing and needs led core or enhanced pathway
- Signposted to external agencies
- Discharged from secondary mental health services
On receipt of the referral from SPA, it is discussed in our weekly team meeting and allocated to a worker who will make contact and arrange to visit to start negotiating a treatment plan.